In the mid to late 2000’s, a preteen ministry was formed at Mount Pleasant Christian Church and was called “fifty-six” to designate that it included fifth and sixth grade students.

In 2007, I (Mike Sheley), came on staff as the Middle School Pastor, and began leading a ministry for both these preteens and for middle schoolers in grades seven and eight.

We pulled both groups under the “Student Ministries” umbrella. Since fifty-six already had a name and logo, we designated the rest of the ministry as seventy8 since it had both 7th and 8th graders in it. They received a logo and both ministries were off and running.

Those names and logos have served us well for the last decade. However, in 2019, as I explained to people how our ministries functioned, I realized that we did significantly more together than we do separately. In fact, it’s really only our summer camp and a couple special events during the school year that are separate.

So, we started conversations about what our ministry looks like now and how to most effectively communicate that. We also evaluated the work and resources that were going into trying to keep them separate and realized we were doing a lot of duplication and redundancy.

Since I already had the title “Middle School Pastor,” most of the students in the ministry are actually in a middle school, and our high school uses the simple name High School Ministry, we decided to change our language to simply Middle School Ministry.

But we still know we have to communicate who is in that ministry. When talking about students, that boils down to which grades they are in at the time. Social media favors being concise, so we researched using “MPCC 5678” and found it to be available on all platforms. That sealed the deal.

For anything we talk about or need a primary logo, you’ll hear and see “Middle School Ministry.”

When you are searching for us on social media or see a profile picture linking to one of our accounts, you’ll see and read “MPCC 5678,” (usually without the space).

We know things will continue to shift in the local schools and not every student is in the same school system. So, at least for now and possibly the next decade, this is the language we will be using to talk about our ministry with 10-14 year old boys and girls or students in grades five, six, seven, and eight.

p.s.

My apologies to those of you who have 8th graders or who have been working hard to get the terms, ministries, and logos of “fifty-six” and “seventy8” down. Time to wipe those from your memory and start fresh! And it’s a year for stuff like that anyway, right?

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